Weddings prompt us to think about the people and values we cherish most – love, happiness, and unity- and if you are especially close to the bride or groom, you may be asked to share those thoughts publically. Preparing (and delivering) a wedding toast can be totally daunting, but raise your glasses, because today RiverStone is providing the tips and techniques you need to give a wedding toast that is sure to be unforgettable!
How to Write an Unforgettable Wedding Toast
A Note to Couples: Share these tips with your friends and family! Trust us, they will be grateful for the extra resources and time to prepare!
Establish clear goals
What message do you want to communicate? Ultimately, your job is to honor and congratulate the wedding couple. Establishing clear goals will keep you focused as you write and deliver your toast.
Set the tone
Make it personal and keep it classy. Consider using a 3-1-2 formula to do so.
3…Begin by speaking about one or both of the wedding couple in 3rd person (he, she, they). Remember, not everyone knows both parties well, so this is your chance to give background and context about them.
1… Transition to 1st person language (I, me, my)- use the middle portion of your speech to discuss your relationship and personal appreciation for the couple.
2… Speak directly to the couple using 2nd person pronouns (you & yours). Congratulate them directly and wish them well!
Build an outline
In an interview with Real Simple, Steve Faber, the screenwriter of the movie Wedding Crashers, claims that, “like a movie, a toast needs roughly five sections,” and we think these 5 sections make a pretty awesome framework for an unforgettable speech!
I. Background – Set the stage and provide context for the rest of your toast.
II. Anecdote – Personalize and make your speech relatable. 3 guidelines…Be respectful, be complimentary, and be kind.
III. Comic Relief – Lighten the mood and get people laughing! But keep your audience in mind and your inside jokes to a minimum. This isn’t the time to totally embarrass your friends and family. (You’ll thank us for this advice later).
IV. Turning Point – Share details about the moment you or the couple realized their relationship was the real deal. Your audience will love the sentimental touch!
V. Conclusion– Conclude with with a simple salutation!
How to Deliver an Unforgettable Wedding Toast
Once your speech is written, follow these tips to ensure that its delivery goes off without a hitch!
- Practice. Run through what you intend to say at
least once before showtime!
- Make notecards. Even if you don’t intend to use them, you will be happy you have a safety net.
- Keep it short. 3-5 mins is recommended. Any more than 10 is too long!
- Breathe through your nerves.
- Smile…a genuine smile communicates confidence and will go a long way toward making you and your audiance feel comfortable.